Mark Leggiero holds a banner outside the New York state Capitol. AP
Gulf Today Report
After rowdy demonstrators stormed the Capitol, the American authorities were taking no chances with security. Twenty thousand National Guard troops were roped in to beef up security measures before Joe Biden's inauguration. The sheer range of the industrial-strength security seemed to have scared away the indisciplined followers of Trump. Instead of thousands, there was just one protester, that too outside the New York State Capitol. The photo of the protester has gone viral.
The protester, Mark Leggiero, travelled to the state’s Capitol in Albany on Wednesday under the impression that he would be protesting President Biden’s inauguration alongside thousands of Trump supporters, according to Spectrum News reporter Morgan Mckay.
An image of Leggiero standing alone in front of the Capitol while holding a Trump flag, went viral on Wednesday after Ms McKay shared it to her Twitter profile, the Independent reported.
Leggiero told NBC New York that he turned up to the state Capitol on Wednesday because he "wanted to be part of the Patriot Party, join supporters of Trump, y’know?”
The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Trump is considering the launch of his own political party to compete with the Republicans, named "The Patriot Party,” which Leggiero was seemingly referencing.
Leggiero expressed disappointment that he spent the day by himself outside of the Capitol, adding: "I was hoping that we’d have more supporters out here.”
Trump and his supporters have spent the months since 3 November’s election refusing to accept President Biden’s victory and repeatedly falsely claiming that there was widespread fraud in the Democrats’ favour.
Biden was confirmed by Congress as the 46th US president in the early hours of 7 January, and took the oath of office in Washington, DC at around noon on Wednesday.
Speaking to a photographer for the Daily Gazette, Leggiero admitted that he was fighting for a lost cause by protesting Mr Biden’s inauguration.
"I was coming out to hopefully join a bunch of peaceful protesters in supporting the cause, that’s is almost a lost cause now, unfortunately, I’m sad to say,” he told the photographer on Wednesday.
However, Leggiero added that Trump will always be his president, saying: "He gave me spirit, he gave me pride, he wanted me to live free.”
At the time of writing, Ms McKay’s post has been retweeted more than 21,000 times, while it has amassed close to 120,000 likes, the Independent added.
Security in Washington, DC was strengthened for the inauguration, due to fears of violence sparked after a mob of pro-Trump supporters breached the US Capitol on 6 January.
Five people died and numerous more were injured in the riots, as Trump was impeached by the House for a second time for his role in inciting the mob populated with his supporters.
Images of lone Trump supporters in Sacramento, Maine and Tennessee were also shared on Twitter, while a protest by the Nevada state Capitol in Carson City drew just two demonstrators.Small protests of Trump supporters took place outside of state Capitols across the US on Wednesday as Biden took the oath of office, but they were mostly low-key affairs and went ahead without the violence that many feared would materialise.
Biden’s first day is expected to be packed, with aides saying recently he would sign perhaps a dozen executive orders that could address the pandemic, the ailing US economy, climate change and racial injustice in America.
Former President Donald Trump’s administration ramped up support for Taiwan, increasing arms sales and sending senior officials to Taipei, angering China and stirring even greater enmity from Beijing towards Washington.
Biden, putting his hand on a family Bible, repeated after Chief Justice John Roberts the presidential oath -- that he will "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
A video showed members of the Jewish delegation abruptly leave the scene as the audience started applauding the Emir of Qatar.
In implementation of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the follow-up of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and President of the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation for Humanitarian Works, the Foundation launched the first stages of operating the largest hospital in Shabwa Governorate in Yemen
A Community Development Authority in Dubai-licensed Filipino organisation has pushed back its 124th Philippine Independence Day festivities to June 25 (Saturday), in respect of the 40-day mourning period of the host government, on the passing of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.